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25 Healthy, Protein-Packed Shrimp Recipes

Shrimp is America's favorite kind of seafood for good reason. Where should we begin? Start with this Cook This, Not That! guide.
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For starters, shrimp is one of the most protein-dense foods you can find: each gram of meat packs a whopping 25 percent protein. And that's great news for anyone looking to lose weight. When you make it a priority to fit protein-rich foods into your diet, you'll help boost your metabolism (and calorie burn), extend feelings of fullness (so you won't be reaching into that cookie jar post dinner), and maintain muscle mass (so your body torches more fat).

Protein isn't the only stellar nutritional benefit. Shrimp is also an excellent source of selenium, an antioxidant mineral which is crucial for maintaining proper thyroid function, and thus, the key to a healthy metabolism. Not to mention, selenium will also support the production of collagen, keeping your skin smooth and glowing. Another killer benefit is shrimp's vitamin B12 content. A single serving provides nearly 80 percent of your DV of the vitamin, which plays a key role in the function of your brain and nervous system, along with helping your body metabolize proteins and fats.

All this, for just a fraction of the calories of other animal-based proteins—and if you buy frozen, it's also a fraction of the price. If the nutritionals don't sway you, maybe the fact that shrimp is quick to prepare will do so. We know losing weight on a busy schedule can be tough, so anything that can help you can get dinner on the table in minutes is welcome news. And with their neutral taste, shrimp acts as a blank canvas so you can easily serve it up with any of your favorite fat-burning foods. So whether you're looking for a quick weeknight dinner, an impressive dinner party appetizer, or homey comfort food, we've collected the best recipes to satisfy your needs and keep your weight-loss goals on track.

Cajun Shrimp and Grits

Shrimp recipes Cajun Shrimp and Grits

Serves: 6
Nutrition: 461 calories, 19 g fat (8 g saturated fat), 857 mg sodium, 43 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 30 g protein

Just because it's called comfort food doesn't mean it has to be terrible for you. If you're in need of some southern-loving, whip up this warming recipe. Spicy Cajun-style shrimp is served on a bed of creamy, homestyle, stone-ground grits with a garlicky baby kale saute on the side. Keeping your spice drawer filled with metabolism-boosting spices like paprika will help this dish come together in a pinch.

Get the recipe from Little Spice Jar.

Thai Coconut Curry Shrimp Noodle Bowls

Shrimp recipes thai coconut curry shrimp noodle bowls

Serves: 4
Nutrition: 450 calories, 15 g fat (11 g saturated fat), 856 mg sodium, 21 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 15 g protein

Curry dishes shouldn't only be saved for take-out. Whip up your favorite dish in the comfort of your own home with this delicious recipe that's just teeming with antioxidants. Plus, coconut milk contains lauric acid, a healthy fat that your body preferentially burns for energy rather than stores away. The tart lime juice brightens up the dish, perfectly complementing the shrimp and medley of veggies.

Get the recipe from How Sweet It Is.

Chopped Salad

Shrimp recipes Mega Chopped Salad

Serves: 6
Nutrition: 400 calories, 25 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 362 mg sodium, 19 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 24 g protein (calculated with 2 potatoes, 2 tbsp dressing per serving)

This salad is the perfect addition to a light brunch menu. Everyone loves a salad, but they'll love this one even more because it's loaded with half a day's RDA of protein: from the shrimp, beans, eggs, bacon, and even the greek yogurt from the creamy buttermilk herbed ranch dressing. And that's a good thing, because a study in the American Journal of Physiology, Endocrinology, and Metabolism found that people who load up on protein have an easier time maintaining and building muscle, and hence keep their metabolisms revving on high—helping to torch fat. Who said salads aren't filling?

Get the recipe from Foxes Love Lemons.

Shrimp Summer Rolls

Shrimp recipes Shrimp Summer Rolls

Serves: 4

Raw, vitamin-dense veggies pair perfectly with a creamy and spicy peanut-lime dipping sauce. That's because the healthy, monounsaturated fats in the peanut butter which you already know can help protect your heart also help extract fat-soluble nutrients like vitamin A, E, and K, which are otherwise trapped in the red peppers, avocado, purple cabbage, mint, and shrimp! Knowing how to pair your food to extract the most nutrients is key to rapid weight loss.

Get the recipe from A Beautiful Plate.

Summer Corn Chowder with Barbeque-Spiced Shrimp

Shrimp recipes corn chowder

Serves: 4
Nutrition: 367 calories, 9 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 600 mg sodium, 49 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 13 g sugar, 24 g protein (sub BBQ sauce for spice blend listed below)

Nothing quite says summer like a fresh corn chowder. This super simple soup is a classic take on a bacon, corn, and potato chowder that's jazzed up with the addition of spicy BBQ shrimp. If you can't find a low-sugar BBQ sauce in your local store, don't sweat it. Just combine a blend of a tablespoon each of paprika, black pepper, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, and a teaspoon of cayenne pepper.

Get the recipe from How Sweet It Is.

Shrimp Fried Quinoa

Shrimp recipes Shrimp Fried Quinoa

Serves: 4
Nutrition: 432 calories, 13 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 753 mg sodium, 44 g carbs, 6 g fiber, 10 g sugar, 32 g protein (calculated with low sodium soy sauce, low sodium chicken broth)

You can thank the muscle-building duo of quinoa and shrimp for that high protein count. In fact, quinoa is one of the few plant-based proteins that is a complete protein—meaning it contains all 9 essential amino acids. And one of those amino acids is L-arginine, which has been shown to promote muscle strength over fat gain. Plus, with such bright flavors from freshly-grated ginger, sesame oil, and the hearty trio of onion, carrots, and snow peas that all come together in under 30 minutes, you'll never think to order fried rice takeout again.

Get the recipe from The Creative Bite.

Coconut Pineapple Shrimp Skewers

Shrimp recipes Coconut Pineapple Shrimp Skewers

Serves: 4
Nutrition: 165 calories, 2 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 597 mg sodium, 12 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 7 g sugar, 24 g protein

When you need to bring an appetizer to that backyard barbecue you forgot you had this afternoon, this recipe will be your savior—and will have everyone at the party talking. The exotic blend of coconut milk, soy sauce, hot sauce, orange juice and lime juice, combine to form a salty-sweet, Thai-inspired marinade that perfectly pairs with the sweetness of the charred pineapple pieces.

Get the recipe from Well Plated.

Spicy Sriracha Shrimp Noodles

Shrimp recipes Spicy Sriracha Shrimp Noodles

Serves: 4
Nutrition: 425 calories, 12 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 872 mg sodium, 67 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 14 g sugar, 24 g protein (calculated with low-sodium soy sauce, no extra salt)

Finally. A pad-thai-inspired dish that you can actually make at home. You get a double dose of protein from the scrambled eggs and the shrimp, and an impressive serving of carotenoids from the zucchini. In fact, zucchini is one of the primary sources of alpha- and beta-carotene (which work to slow mental decline), along with lutein and zeaxanthin (antioxidant which supports eye health) in the entire diet.

Get the recipe from For the Love of Basil.

Grilled Romaine Salad with Prosciutto-Wrapped Shrimp

Shrimp recipes Grilled Romaine Salad with Prosciutto Wrapped Shrimp

Serves: 2
Nutrition: 363 calories, 20 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 268 mg sodium, 4 g carbs, 13 g protein

The creamy balsamic dressing is the perfect complement to the crispy, prosciutto-wrapped shrimp, walnuts, cranberries, and charred romaine salad. Lettuce is one of the 8 Surprising Foods to Throw On The Grill This Summer. Can you guess the other 7?

Get the recipe from Foodie Crush.

Garlic Brown Butter Shrimp with Cauliflower Puree

Shrimp recipes Garlic Brown Butter Shrimp with Cauliflower Puree

Serves: 2
Nutrition: 567 calories, 27 g fat (10 g saturated fat), 593 mg sodium, 21 g carbs, 6 g fiber, 9 g sugar, 42 g protein (calculated with 1 tbsp butter for cauliflower puree, ⅓ cup 1% milk)

This dish looks downright indulgent, but it's still surprisingly healthy. Grilled prawns sit on top of a cauliflower puree, which is bursting with immune-boosting vitamin C and metabolism-regulating vitamin B6. It's all topped off with a garlic-infused brown butter sauce that's just bursting with flavor. When whipping it up at home, we recommend using grass-fed butter to top it all off. Grass-fed butter just one of the 20 Best Full-Fat Foods for Weight Loss because of its high levels of anti-inflammatory omega-3s and fat-burning acids called conjugated linoleic acids (CLA).

Get the recipe from RecipeTin Eats.

Crock Pot Fire-Roasted Shrimp Tacos

Shrimp recipes Crock Pot Fire Roasted Shrimp Tacos

Serves: 4
Nutrition: 307 calories, 4 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 564 mg sodium, 18 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 19 g protein

On your quest to create healthy, flat-belly-friendly meals, there's often one serious hurdle: time. And that's where the crock pot comes in. Throw a few ingredients—like some fire-roasted tomatoes, salsa, bell peppers, and some spices—in before you go out to run your errands, and just 3 hours later you'll have dinner on the table. It's that easy. And don't think your crock pot is just for the winter months: here are 21 Reasons to Use Your Crock Pot This Summer.

Get the recipe from Cotter Crunch.

Garlic Shrimp Capellini Alla Pomodoro

Shrimp recipes Garlic Shrimp Capellini alla Pomodoro

Serves: 4
Nutrition: 452 calories, 16 g fat (8 g saturated fat), 699 mg sodium, 50 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 28 g protein

Just because you get home late from work doesn't mean you should immediately pick up the phone to call in take out. Instead, get your rumbling stomach fed on the fly with this easy, 20-minute dinner that tastes like it's straight out of an Italian kitchen. Colorful, fresh plum tomatoes are simmered with garlic and basil to create a flavorful, crisp sauce for the sauteed shrimp and pasta. One bite, and you'll start stocking your pantry with cherry tomatoes instead of canned pasta sauce.

Get the recipe from Pinch of Yum.

Coconut Shrimp with Spicy Thai Mango Sauce

Shrimp recipes Coconut Shrimp with Spicy Thai Mango Sauce

Serves: 4
Nutrition: 289 calories, 5 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 695 mg sodium, 4 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 30 g protein (calculated with 2 tbsp mango sauce per serving)

No shrimp recipe roundup would be complete without coconut shrimp. These fresh prawns are breaded with dried coconut and panko bread crumbs, baked, and then served with a spicy mango sauce, which is teeming with fat-blasting vitamin C. Serve it as an appetizer at your next gathering, or pair it with a cilantro-lime rice for dinner.

Get the recipe from RecipeTin Eats.

15-Minute Shrimp Scampi

Shrimp recipes Shrimp Scampi

Serves: 6
Nutrition: 342 calories, 8 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 317 mg sodium, 32 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 31 g protein

If you live a busy lifestyle, one of our tips to fix yourself healthy meals when you're crunched for time is to keep a chunk of compound butter in your freezer. That way, this shrimp scampi recipe will be ready in no time. However, because it's basically just pasta and shrimp, we'd recommend pairing it with a side salad before dinner. According to Cornell researchers, pre-loading your meals with salads can actually help your body control its blood glucose levels, meaning you'll not only stay fuller longer, but you'll also save your body from an inflammation-inducing spike in blood sugar.

Get the recipe from Damn Delicious.

Chimichurri Shrimp

Shrimp recipes Chimichurri Shrimp

Serves: 4
Nutrition: 272 calories, 12 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 370 mg sodium, 4 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 34 g protein

Knowing how to make a chimichurri is a must if you're looking to lose weight. That's because it adds a punch of flavor for minimal calories. The cilantro, parsley, and lime juice combine to form a marinade but also double to help you detox. All three have been found to aid in digestion in some way, whether it's flushing out your kidneys, giving a kick to sluggish bowels, or relaxing digestive muscles—which all help reduce bloating to keep your tummy tight. Chimichurri certainly livens up this shrimp dish, but it also can be used to top steaks, pork chops, and chicken. This recipe pairs well with a side of rice and beans and some fresh pico de gallo.

Get the recipe from Feasting at Home.

Shrimp Fajitas

Shrimp recipes Shrimp Fajitas

Serves: 4
Nutrition: 500 calories, 12 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 833 mg sodium, 53 g carbs, 8 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 45 g protein (calculated with small, whole wheat tortillas, no guacamole or sour cream)

Swap out your usual chicken for shrimp in these fajitas and you'll see your cooking time sliced in half. If you're not a fan of tortillas, we recommend pairing the peppers, onions, and shrimp with a side of Spanish-style brown rice and a healthy dollop of refreshing guacamole. Try any one of these 20 Amazing Guacamole Recipes.

Get the recipe from What's Gaby Cooking.

Grilled Shrimp Thai Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing

Shrimp recipes Grilled Shrimp Thai Salad

Serves: 3
Nutrition: 455 calories, 27 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 842 mg sodium, 25 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 14 g sugar, 30 g protein

If you're in the mood for a hefty plate of veggies that will actually fill you up, you've come to the right place. Crisp carrots, scallions, purple cabbage, and baby bell peppers add the crunch, the cilantro adds the punch of flavor, and grilled shrimp are the perfect protein to top it all off. Oh, and did we mention the spicy peanut sauce? It might be the reason you end up adding this salad to your weekly rotation.

Get the recipe from That Oven' Feelin.

White Wine Garlic Chili Shrimp

Shrimp recipes White Wine Garlic Chili Shrimp

Serves: 4
Nutrition: 246 calories, 8 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 613 mg sodium, 5 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 26 g protein

Have some white wine leftover from last night? Whip up this 15-minute dinner with just a few simple ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. Don't worry, we won't judge you for sopping up the broth with a piece of bread—yes, it's that good.

Get the recipe from Sweet Phi.

Shrimp Pasta with Roasted Red Peppers and Artichokes

Shrimp recipes Shrimp Pasta with Roasted Red Peppers and Artichokes

Serves: 8
Nutrition: 363 calories, 18 g fat (8 g saturated fat), 447 mg sodium, 26 g carbs, 1 g sugar, 21 g protein

Although shrimp is the main protein, the Mediterranean flavors of the sweet basil, roasted red peppers, pine nuts, capers, and artichoke hearts are some pretty stellar, award-winning supporting actors. That is, according to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine. Researchers found that a Mediterranean diet full of healthy fats, fresh veggies, and even a glass of red wine, prevents about 30 percent of heart attacks, strokes, and deaths from heart disease in people at high risk of cardiovascular disease.

Get the recipe from Foodie Crush.

Lemon Orzo with Shrimp & Asparagus

Shrimp recipes Lemon Shrimp Pasta with Orzo and Asparagus

Serves: 5
Nutrition: 413 calories, 10 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 782 mg sodium, 49 g carbs, 11 g fiber, 7 g sugar, 36 g protein

Yes, risottos are delicious, but let's be real: they take way more effort than we're willing to commit to on busy nights. So if you want all the delicious, creamy flavors of the classic Italian rice dish without the hassle, this recipe will be your new weeknight go-to. Oh, and did we mention it's all made in one pot? Add this to your recipe rotation so you can reap the waist-trimming benefits of a high-protein shrimp dish along with the bone-strengthening vitamin K via the fresh asparagus.

Get the recipe from Well Plated.

Shrimp Jambalaya Lentil Bowls

Shrimp recipes Shrimp Jambalaya Lentil Bowls

Serves: 4
Nutrition: 471 calories, 17 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 895 mg sodium, 40 g carbs, 18 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 38 g protein

This Gumbo-inspired jambalaya dish is the perfect flat-belly meal to fill you up because it's bursting with satiating fiber and protein. And the leftovers are even better. That's because instead of traditionally serving it with rice, this recipe pairs the okra, shrimp, sausage, and veggie mix with brown lentils. Once cooled, the starches in the lentils go through a process called retrogradation, where they turn "resistant," meaning they avoid digestion. Instead, they feed your gut bugs, helping improve digestion, boost fat burn, and fend off belly-fat-inducing inflammation.

Get the recipe from Cotter Crunch.

Shrimp Cakes with Asparagus Salsa

Shrimp recipes Shrimp Cakes with Asparagus Salsa

Serves: 4 (2 cakes each)
Nutrition: 268 calories, 8 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 733 mg sodium, 17 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 30 g protein

All the flavor of a crispy, moist, tender crab cake—but without the lofty price tag. Shrimp serves as the perfect blank canvas for this southwestern-inspired shrimp cake, which combines onion, colorful bell peppers, fresh cilantro and a kick of jalapeno pepper. It's paired with a tangy asparagus and bell pepper salsa for an extra vitamin-C boost. This antioxidant vitamin plays a key role in boosting mood, keeping your skin healthy, and, best of all, counteracting the stress hormones which trigger abdominal fat storage, making it an important nutrient for those trying to lose weight.

Get the recipe from The View From Great Island.

Chipotle Shrimp Tacos with Cilantro-Lime Crema

Shrimp recipes Chipotle Shrimp Tacos with Cilantro Lime Crema

Serves: 4
Nutrition: 508 calories, 25.4 g fat (5.9 g saturated fat), 538 mg sodium, 36.1 g carbs, 10.5 g fiber, 3.3 g sugar, 36.9 g protein (calculated with 4 oz greek yogurt)

This recipe will be your new Taco Tuesday go-to. These light, spicy shrimp tacos will keep you lean by enhancing calorie burn via a metabolism boost. (Psst, there are nineteen other recipes that also fire up your metabolism.) And to boost your belly health, we recommend switching out the sour cream for full-fat greek yogurt. The Nutrition Institute at the University of Tennessee suggests that calcium helps metabolize fat quicker, plus probiotics in yogurt are a great way to keep your gut clean to help you lose weight.

Get the recipe from Cooking Classy.

Spicy Shrimp with Pesto Zoodles

Shrimp recipes Spicy Shrimp with Pesto Zoodles

Serves: 4
Nutrition: 334 calories, 22 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 332 mg sodium, 9 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 28 g protein

Who knew it would only take 15 minutes to whip up something bursting with this much flavor? The shrimp is coated in a chili-powder-cumin combo that pairs perfectly with the kale, spinach, and basil pesto which coats fresh zucchini noodles (aka zoodles). Besides the quick cooking time, this recipe is easily adaptable to fit your preferences. The pesto ingredients can be swapped out for your favorite greens, whether that's parsley, cilantro, or even beet greens.

Get the recipe from Pinch of Yum.

Cilantro-Lime Grilled Shrimp with Roasted Poblano Sauce

Shrimp recipes Cilantro Lime Grilled Shrimp

Serves: 6
Nutrition: 223 calories, 4 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 600 mg sodium, 8 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 36 g protein

The recipe is exactly why we love shrimp: simple, fast, and easy. Just throw some shrimp into a quick cilantro, lime, and garlic marinade, grill 'em up, and pair it with a homemade roasted poblano sauce made from basically the same ingredients. It's like a two-for-one deal! Plus, the healthy fats from the greek yogurt added to the sauce will help extract the vitamins loaded in the poblano pepper, like vitamin A and C.

Get the recipe from Creme de la Crumb.


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Olivia Tarantino
Olivia Tarantino is the Managing Editor of Eat This, Not That!, specializing in nutrition, health, and food product coverage. Read more about Olivia